Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda

Supplementary Memorandum by the Health & Safety Executive (CEM 102(a))


  In response to the meeting of the Environment Sub-committee on 9 January, please find set out below information, additional to my letter of 8 January, that covers the matters raised.


  The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) preventive inspections are aimed at assessing how well employers are managing their health and safety responsibilities. The scope and depth of an inspection will vary depending on the size and nature of the employer's undertaking, the relevant risks, and standards found. Preventive inspections of local authorities normally involve assessing the adequacy of workplace risk controls to ensure that the systems in place are effectively managing the risks. Such inspections are targeted to achieve maximum effect, and just as workplaces and undertakings vary, so does the detail of the inspection process.

  Some preventive inspections of local authorities will look at management of one subject, for example, education, refuse collection or leisure services; others may look at a range of subjects often taking into account relevant complaints or accidents. Within this approach HSE would not expect its inspectors routinely to inspect cemeteries. Since 1995 there have been 125 specific interventions at cemeteries by HSE Inspectors.

  HSE is aware of 10 accidents arising from unstable memorials since 1982, including three fatal accidents. Enforcement action has been taken in three instances, in accordance with the Health and Safety Commission's published enforcement policy.


  HSE produces guidance on a wide range of health and safety matters. However it does not normally produce its own guidance where industry specific guidance already exists or is being produced. HSE's decision not to produce its own detailed guidance on cemeteries is thus not unusual. However it has worked closely with the industry on the production of the recent guidance on the Management of Memorials to influence its content and to ensure it is consistent with the relevant law and represents good or best practice.

  HSE will continue to work closely with the industry on the management of cemeteries, in particular the management of memorials, and in the development of training standards for their inspection.

Christopher Triggs


January 2001

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